Hilki'ah (Heb. Chilkiyah', חַלקַיָּה, portion of Jehovah; often in the prolonged form Chilkiya'hu, חלקַיָּהוּ, 2Ki 18:18,26; 2Ki 22:4,8,14; 2Ki 23:4,24; 2Ki 1
Chronicles 26:11; 2Ch 34:9,14-15,18,20,22; Isa 22:20; Isa 36:3,22; Jer 1; Jer 1; Sept. Χελκίας), the name of a number of men, all priests or Levites.
1. The son of Amzi and father of Amaziah, the sixth in descent from Merari, son of Levi (1Ch 6:45). B.C. long ante 1014.
2. The second son of Hosah, of the family of Merari, appointed by David as a doorkeeper of the tabernacle (1Ch 26:11). B.C. cir. 1014.
3. The father of Eliakim, which latter was overseer of the house (Temple) at the time of Sennacherib's invasion (2Ki 18:18,26,37; Isa 22:20; Isa 36:3). B.C. ante 713.
4. The father of Gemariah and companion of Elasab, who were sent with a message to the captives at Babylon (Jer 29:3). B.C. long ante 587. He was possibly identical with the foregoing.
5. The father of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 1:1). B.C. ante 628.
6. Son of Shallum (1Ch 6:13; Ezr 7:1), or Meshullam (1Ch 9:11; Ne 11:11), and father of Azariah, the high priest who assisted Josiah in his work of reformation (2Ki 22:4-14; 2Ki 23:4,24; 2Ch 34:9-22; 2Ch 35:8). B.C. 623. "He is especially remarkable for the discovery which he made in the house of the Lord of a book which is called The Book of the Law' (2Ki 22:8), and The Book of the Covenant' (23:2). That this was some well known book is evident from the form of the expression" (Kitto). "Kennicott (Heb. Teax. 2, 299) is of opinion that it was the original autograph copy of the Pentateuch written by Moses which Hilkiah found. He argues from the peculiar form of expression in 2Ch 34:14, סֵפֶר תּוֹרִת יהוָֹה בַּיִד משֶׁה, 'the book of the law of Jelhovah by the hand of Moses;' whereas in the fourteen other places in the O.T. where the law of Moses or the book of Moses is mentioned, it is either 'the book of Moses,' or 'the law of Moses,' or 'the book of the law of Moses.' But the argument is far from conclusive, because the phrase in question may quite as properly signify 'the book of the law of the Lord given through Moses.' Compare the expression ἐν χειρὶ μεσίτου (Ga 3:19), and בּיִד משֶׁה (Ex 9:35; Ex 35:29; Ne 10:29; 2Ch 35:6; Jer 1; Jer 1). Though, however, the copy cannot be proved to have been Moses's autograph from the words in question, it seems probable that it was such, from the place where it was found, viz. in the Temple; and, from its not having been discovered before, but only being brought to light on the occasion of the repairs which were necessary, and from the discoverer being the high-priest himself, it seems natural to conclude that the particular part of the Temple where it was found was one not usually frequented, or ever by any but the high-priest. Such a place exactly was the one where we know the original copy of the law was deposited by command of Moses, viz. by the side of the ark of the covenant within the veil, as we learn from, De 31:9,26" (Smith). "That it was the entire Pentateuch is the opinion of Josephus, Von Lengerke, Keil, Ewald, Havernick, etc.; but others think it was only part of that collection, and others that it was simply a collection of laws and ordinances appointed by Moses, such as are given in the Pentateuch, and especially in Deuteronomy. The objection to its being the whole Pentateuch is the improbability of that being read in the audience of the people at one time, as was this book (De 23:2); and there are many circumstances which render it probable that what was read to the people was the look of Deuteronomy, as the apparent allusion to De 29:1; De 30:2, in De 23:2-3, and the special effect which the reading of the book had on the king, who did, in consequence, Just what one impressed by such passages as occur in De 16:18, etc., would be likely to do. At the same time, even if we admit that the part actually read consisted only of the summary of laws and institutions in Deuteronomy, it will not follow that that was the only part of the Pentateuch found by Hilkiah; for, as the matter brought before his mind by Huldah the prophetess (2Ki 22:15 sq.) respected the restoration of the worship of Jehovah, it might be only to what bore on that that the reading specially referred. The probability is that the book found by Hilkiah was the same which was entrusted to the care of the priests, and was to be put in the side of the ark (De 31:30); and that this was the entire body of the Mosaic writing, and not any part of it, seems the only tenable conclusion (Hengstenberg, Beitrigye, 2, 159 sq.)"
7. One of the chief priests (contemporary with Jeshua as high-priest) who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ne 12:7). His son Hashabiah is named in ver. 21. B.C. 536.
8. One of those who supported Ezra on the right hand while reading the law to the people (Ne 8:4). B.C. cir...410. It is somewhat uncertain whether he even belonged to the Levitical family; the date of the events with which he is associated seems to forbid his identification with the foregoing.